Recommendations GPS/fish finder

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spencerdella
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Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by spencerdella » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:06 pm

I might be getting ahead of myself here but I am looking for a mid-priced GPS/fishfinder combo. I have been recommended Lowrance and Garmin with a transducer.

It's here my interested: Garmin Echomap Chirp 43Cv With Transducer

If you're Lowrance and Garmin owner, would like to hear your experience with the extendable brand's durability and how they compare to other fish finders you've tried.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

hewesbob
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by hewesbob » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:12 am

I am a life long Garmin fan. My current unit is the 741xs and the TM 150 transducer, this unit has served me well for the past 6 years, I just take advantage of the free updates. I did a lot of research before buying the 741 and the one piece of advise I would read over and over was that even if you buy a unit that includes a transducer alway check to see if a better transducer may be available. The transducer is the work horse of the system and most combo unit come with very weak (cheap) transducers so they can make the combo kits more affordable. I have never owned a Lowrance unit but I have talked with several folks who have that have been very displeased with their customer service and support. If you have any plans in the future of adding a Minn Kota trolling motor then you may want to consider Hummingbird as Hummingbird owns Minn Kota and their products pair together very well. Good Luck

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tbrinks
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by tbrinks » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:20 am

Have never had any issues with the Lowrance HDS units. Started at Gen 1 then upgraded to Gen 2 touch and am now running HDS Carbons. Solid and withstand the abuses of fishing alot.

I run it with a Navionics platinum card and can see satellite overlay as well as mapping.

Image

The sonar picture and clarity is also second to none.

Image
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kodacachers
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by kodacachers » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:07 pm

I used to have the Lowrance HDI Elite 7, a mid-priced unit. It was great in freshwater but I never got it dialed in in the salt (this was on a different thread). I have the HDS Carbon now and its much superior both in performance and ease of use, but its far from a mid-priced unit.
TBrink--Not to hijack the thread, but what advantages do you see in Navionics over the standard Lowrance mapping?

Gary

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tbrinks
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by tbrinks » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:34 pm

kodacachers wrote:Not to hijack the thread, but what advantages do you see in Navionics over the standard Lowrance mapping?

Gary
#1 would be number of lakes mapped. #2 would be level of detail and #3 is how Navionics maps are continually getting better every day. They process over 2,000 updates each day and I as well as several other guys are constantly mapping our waters up here.
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jdp53
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by jdp53 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:02 pm

Funny you should be interested in the Garmin Echomap 43cv as I recently purchased a boat and selected the Garmin Echomap 63cv as my fish finder / GPS combo. Sometimes I feel like I should have done more research before buying as I didn't research adequately at the beginning but fortunately I am very happy with the unit overall.

The 63CV and the 43CV have the same transducer and the same specs as far as range and frequencies. There might be a few differences in some ways but it seems like the main difference between the 63 and the 43 is the display unit. So consider this as I review some of the things I like and dislike about the unit.

Like

*Traditional Sonar- seems to do a pretty good job and it is fairly clear. I don't have much experience with other devices but for the fishing that I am doing it is more than sufficient. I wouldn't say the display is as clear as other units, but I would say overall it does a good job.

*LakeVu Mapping- this is something I have really liked as it makes fishing a lake very straightforward. These maps come preloaded and on many lakes it has 1' contour lines so you can really make out the shape of the bottom of lakes well. I find this helpful when bass fishing as I can plan my day around drop offs and areas that look bassy on the map. I find it helpful when I am trolling for trout and kokanee as well as I like to troll over steep drop offs.

*GPS tracking- the 63cv will track where you have been on the water without you asking it to do so. I find this helpful when I am trolling as it makes it easy to turn around and follow the same line back if you get into a nice school of fish.

*Functionality- I find this unit easy to use. It took me a while to figure out how to use it properly and dial in some of the settings but once I became familiar with the unit I loved it. I like the button navigation versus the touch screen as it keeps the screen clean and it is easy to use when my hands are wet.

*Software updates- The device is simple to update as you download the updates on your phone and then connect the phone to the chart plotter and the update gets installed. Not really sure what the updates are for all the time, I bet a lot of them are for updates to the LakeVu maps as they are constantly adding new lakes.

Dislikes

*NMEA 2000 incompatible- This may or may not be a big deal for you. I originally purchased the 63cv wanting it to connect to my MotorGuide trolling motor. The sales associate that helped me purchase everything wasn't terribly educated on how all that works and I should have done more research up front and I would have opted for the 73cv which was $150 more. That being said, I realize now I don't really need to connect my chart plotter to my trolling motor in order to utilize the GPS features. What I need is a GPS module for my trolling motor and the proper remote (different gripe...).

*ClearVu- Maybe I haven't used it in a way that would be conducive to utilizing this feature properly, but I don't find this to be very useful. It is billed as a way to view structure and fish clearly below your boat but it doesn't show structure well for me. To be fair, I haven't given it a proper evaluation, just would use it from time to time to test it.

Other Note

*Quickdraw- This is a feature that I haven't used but intend on using, especially for parts of the sound and some rivers or lakes that don't come preloaded with contours. It seems like it is a cool feature but I haven't used it and can't speak to the usefulness.

I hope this helps. I really like the unit overall and depending on what you are planning to use it for I think you will like it too (or the 43cv). I would say if you need NMEA 2000 go with the 73 CV, I think it is a $600 unit. If you use it like I do which is essentially for depth and speed, locating schools of fish, using LakeVu maps to locate areas to fish, and GPS navigation to retrace routes and get back to the boat launch when it is dark. I don't ask much out of this chart plotter, but I am quite happy with it.

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DavidA
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by DavidA » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:37 pm

I have a Garmin53DV fishfinder that I bought about 2 years ago and I am very pleased with it. It has CHIRP, which I recommend for the added detail. I chose the lakes version of mapping and with GPS, it is exactly what I need. You show up to a lake and the contours of it are instantly there. Since ocean water is not covered, QuickDraw is an excellent solution for my crabbing and shrimping. I drive around my location of interest for a bit to ensure I am not dropping my pots on the edge of a drop-off, then let them down with confidence. The next time I return, that previously mapped area is immediately available. Be ware though, that with tidal heights, the exact depths of those maps vary, but the contours are spot on, and the depth finder always tells you exactly how deep you are. The screen is large enough to split for 2 views, but 3, while possible, I believe, might be pushing it. Downview, while interesting, hasn't gotten the use I would have expected. Maybe in the future. And of course, Waypoints, are really nice. I would and have recommended this unit, frequently.

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tbrinks
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Re: Recommendations GPS/fish finder

Post by tbrinks » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:43 am

As another thing to consider, several fishfinders are now available as bundled products with a Navionics+ card already in there. It is a huge savings compared to buying the card at retail. You will have to ask your dealer if they have the bundles, but these are the units.

HUMMINBIRD: Helix 5, 7

LOWRANCE: Elite Ti 7, 9; Hook² 5, 7, 9,12

RAYMARINE: Axiom PRO 9, 12, 16; Dragonfly 4PRO, 5PRO, 5M, 7PRO

SIMRAD: GO5 XSE, 9 XSE

SI-TEX: SVS560, 760, 880, 1010
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